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Web Letter

Tim Weiner writes: "Like it or not, the United States needs trustworthy intelligence. But spying is a dirty and dangerous business. The CIA depends on officers who know how to lie, cheat and steal..."

I would reply with a quote from the former chief of the CIA's Angola Task Force, John Stockwell (In Search of Enemies, 1978.)

Obviously, our nation needs broad intelligence coverage, and we have been getting it. It comes through the Directorate of Information of the CIA...which collates, analyses, and disseminates information from all sources.... But even presidents forget to distinguish between the Directorate of Information and the clandestine services, quite possibly not realizing how little of the DDI’s information actually comes from the covert human agents of its shadowy alter ego. The bulk of all raw intelligence, including vital strategic information, comes from overt sources and from the enormously expensive technical collection systems. The human agents, the spies, contribute less than 10 per cent...

This book, which concludes that the CIA makes the world a more dangerous place, is as relevant today as it was thirty years ago.

K. Showalter

Cupertino, CA

Jun 9 2009 - 2:56pm

Web Letter

It is interesting to review yesterday's action of the House Intellegence subcommittee on Interrogations. Rather than being defensive, the Republicans are taking the lead in opening up information to the public. Meanwhile, it is the Democrats who are protesting agsinst the "right to know."

This indicates the difference of opinion between two legitimate positions, each of which has 30 to 40 million adherents.

Some have said that it should not have become a partisan issue. But that only happened because Democrats used it to attack in the elections of 2004, '06 and '08, making it into a party brawl.

They sure wanted attention on this question. It's the old "be careful what you wish for" once more.

If anyone is to be censured, lets hang Pelosi first.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, PA

Jun 6 2009 - 8:42am